(Online readers: I’ve combined the previous blog and updates into one column, recast for print. But I’ve left the summary of sanctions and links to the NCAA’s report below. Also, I’ve added Pete Carroll’s video response below. No surprise: He expresses shock. By the way, great comments today on both this and the Auburn blog. Thanks, Jeff.)
The first reaction across the South? To fall over in laughter over the fact Lane Kiffin’s Valhalla just turned into a shack with the word, “Condemned” on it.
Tennessee, the school he bolted, is considered bare these days by program standards. But the Volunteers can claim one thing that USC can’t in the next two years: They’re bowl eligible. How must that feel in the Kiffin household? Envious of Independence Bowl eligibility?
But once we get past the humor – and granted, that may take a while — the flaws of the NCAA’s policing procedures once again dominate the day.
USC got smacked by the NCAA, smacked like no major football program has since Alabama in 2002. Four years of probation, a two-year bowl ban, the loss of 30 scholarships over three years and – hey look, there’s suddenly room in the trophy case! – the mandate to vacate all wins from the 2004 and 2005 seasons, which includes a BCS title.
The positive news: The NCAA, which too often sends mixed messages, proclaiming it’s all about academics but then approving expanded seasons and tournaments and selling out to networks with late-night kickoffs and tip-offs, at least did the right thing.
The problem, as always: They did it too late. The criminals are gone.
♦Pete Carroll. He has a $33 million contract to coach the Seattle Seahawks. At USC, he lacked either control or awareness, and you can decide which is worse. If there’s any solace to be taken, it’s that he may not be in the postseason the next two years, either.
♦ Reggie Bush. He is making millions in New Orleans. He just won a Super Bowl. At least now he can afford legal housing for his family, as opposed to what he took before from an agent, which was everything: housing for his family in San Diego, limo rides, a car, $10,000 in furniture, a washer and dryer, etc.
♦ O.J. Mayo. He was a first-round NBA draft pick in 2008, which means he is making even more money with the Memphis Grizzlies ($30 million) than he received illegally leading up to and during his one season as a “student-athlete” at USC. The summary: cash, lodging, transportation for himself, girlfriend, mother and brother, a trip to Las Vegas, a $1,400 television, a cell phone, wireless service, watches, clothes, shoes and a personal trainer.
♦ Tim Floyd. At least he’s only the coach at Texas-El Paso now. But considering he began meeting with an “agent” for Mayo when the kid was a junior in high school, he should be coaching at Folsom.
“The general campus environment surrounding the violations troubled the committee,” the NCAA said.
Referring to those who triggered, committed or failed to report violations, the statement added: “Their actions also threatened the efforts of the NCAA and its member institutions to sponsor and support amateur competition at the collegiate level.”
Bush is a coward. He released a statement that claimed “regret” but admitted no wrongdoing.
His words: “…I very much regret the turn that this matter has taken, not only for USC, but for the fans and players. I am disappointed by [Thursday's] decision and disagree with the NCAA’s findings. If the University decides to appeal, I will continue to cooperate …as I did during the investigation. … I will continue to focus on making a positive impact [for USC] and the community where I live.”
Wonder what island resort he faxed that from?
The main criminals won’t pay the price, but Kiffin will. That’s just. In addition to the whole karma thing, he was a USC assistant from 2001 to 2006, when violations occurred.
Athletic director Mike Garrett will. Also just. Three of his programs (football, basketball, tennis) just got hit with probation. Why does he still have a job?
Current student-athletes will. That’s wrong. Every one should be allowed to transfer, with no restrictions.
The NCAA and pro sports leagues also need to work together to figure this problem out. Maybe a clause can be added to scholarship and coaching contracts, stating: “Any probation resulting from the actions of [name], even after [name] departs, can result in a $17 million fine and a public stoning.”
Can we get the lawyers on that right away?
A recap of the NCAA’s sanctions against USC’s football, basketball and tennis teams.♦ Public reprimand and censure. ♦ Four years of probation: from June 10, 2010, through June 9, 2014. ♦ Postseason ban for the 2009-10 men’s basketball season. (self-imposed) ♦ Postseason ban for the 2010 and 2011 football seasons. ♦ One-year show-cause penalty for assistant football coach Todd McNair (June 10, 2010, to June 9, 2011). ♦ Vacation of all football wins, including football bowl games, from the 2004 and 2005 seasons. ♦ Vacation of all basketball wins in the 2007-08 season, including the NCAA tournament. (self-imposed) ♦ Vacation of all wins in women’s tennis between November 2006 and May 2009.(self-imposed) ♦ Reduction of football scholarships by 10 for the next three academic years. ♦ Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. (self-imposed) ♦ Reduction of the total number of recruiting days in men’s basketball by 20 days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-11 academic year. (self-imposed) ♦ $5,000 fine. (self-imposed) ♦ Remittance of the $206,200 the university received for its participation in the 2008 NCAA basketball tournament. (self-imposed). ♦ Disassociation of football player Reggie Bush, basketball player O.J. Mayo and “booster” Rodney Guillory. ♦ Release of three men’s basketball recruits from their letters of intent. (self-imposed). ♦ Prohibition of all non-university personnel, including boosters, from traveling on football and men’s basketball charters; attending football and men’s basketball team practices; attending or participating in any way with university football and men’s basketball camps, including donation of funds; and having access to the sidelines and locker rooms for football and men’s basketball games.
Here is a link to a summary of the NCAA’s findings.
Here is a link to the NCAA’s full 67-page public report. (You may want to get comfortable before opening this.)